BAGUIO CITY – Seven of the biggest elementary and high schools here will be utilized as sleeping quarters for the more than 7,000 athletes and delegates to the Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association (CARAA) meet from Feb. 16-21 in various venues.
Host Baguio’s athletes will be billeted at the Baguio City High School (BCNHS) campus on Harrison and Gov. Pack Road, just at the back of the main venue, the Baguio athletic bowl complex.
The BCNHS, the biggest high school in northern Luzon, will be the command center of the six-day annual sports meet where the technical committee led by Department of Education (DepEd)-Baguio and Cordillera personnel will be staying.
Delegates from the adjacent province, Benguet will be housed at the Pines City National High School (PCNHS) and Josefa Cariño Elementary School.
Both are located near the Baguio City Hall, about 400 meters from the main venue.
The two schools are beside the oldest elementary school in the country, the Baguio Central School (BCS) which will be home for the delegates of Apayao.
Apayao delegates will have the longest trip coming at a minimum of 13 hours.
Abra athletes and officials will be staying at the Bonifacio Elementary School and the adjoining Guisad Valley National High School.
Located along Bokawkan Road and nestled at what could be the old capital of the city, the Guisad Valley, delegates and athletes will need to navigate the at least one-kilometer distance to the playing venue.
Athletes from Mountain Province will be housed at the Lucban Elementary School on Magsaysay Avenue near the city’s border to La Trinidad, Benguet.
A ride using the Trancoville jeepneys would take about 15 minutes to get to Harrison Road, barely a kilometer away.
Ifugao contingents will also have an easy time getting to the venue as they will be billeted at the Quezon Elementary School on Upper Session Road.
The ride will be easy for these participants with the numerous jeepney groups plying the area.
The venue is less than a kilometer from the school.
A short walk is for the Ifugao delegates as they will be staying at the Mabini Elementary School which is about 400 meters from the playing venue via Session Road, Gov. Pack, Harrison, and Burnham.
Kalinga participants will have to spend more time traveling as their accommodation will be at the Rizal Elementary and National High School at Wright Park, some two kilometers away from the venue.
But the ride will be easy with the Mines View jeepneys plying the route and just 100 meters away is the Saint Joseph Church where Pacdal bound jeepneys are stationed to wait for passengers.
“We are more than ready to have the games with everything in place now,” said DepEd Baguio assistant superintendent Soraya Faculo, who said that PHP8.4 million will be spent for the hosting of the event.
The DepEd and the city government, with the local media as a witness, will sign the memorandum of agreement between the two parties on Jan. 15.
Baguio is set to host the CARAA anew after Apayao backed out as a result of disasters in 2019.
Meanwhile, the CARAA will start with two major Baguio events to be staged on the same day, Feb. 16.
The Panagbenga will have some of its main events on February 16 coinciding with the last day of the Philippine Military Academy homecoming.
The Panagbenga season peaks with some of the major activities including a traditional event lined up at the Melvin Jones Football Field, the “Let a Thousand Flower Bloom” which is to be staged the whole day.
Other Panagbenga events during the day are the: “Handog ng Panagbenga sa Pamilyang Baguio”, a family fair that is also a whole day activity as well as the “Panagbenga Open Kite Flying”, the Panagbenga Cultural Show and the fireworks display, one of the several slated during the month-long festivity.
The PMA will have the closing of its annual alumni homecoming which will start on February 14.
The Panagbenga used to stage its main event, the street dancing and float parade during the PMA alumni homecoming causing heavy traffic. That scenario prompted the festival organizers to move the Panagbenga main events to another date. (PNA)